A’s sign Billy Butler to three-year, $30 million contract

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Robert Murray of MLB Daily Rumors reported it first: Billy Butler has agreed to a three-year, $30 million free agent contract with the Oakland Athletics.

That’s quite a lengthy commitment to a designated hitter whose OPS has been in a freefall over the past three seasons — .882 in 2012, .787 in 2013, and .702 in 2014 — but Butler is only 28 years old and the average annual value of the deal ($10 million) isn’t too bad. Maybe he’ll be able to find new life with the A’s, who excel at exploiting righty-lefty matchups.

Butler is a .314/.393/.519 career hitter against left-handed pitching. He batted .255/.301/.352 versus righties in 2014.

Oakland needed offense. Butler should be able to help that cause, in doses.

Video: Cole Tucker’s first MLB hit is two-run homer

Cole Tucker
AP Photo
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Pirates prospect shortstop Cole Tucker stepped up for an injured Erik González on Saturday and wasted little time proving that he was ready to shoulder major-league responsibilities. After starting the game 0-for-2, Tucker pounced on Derek Holland‘s 2-2 sinker and sent it out to center field for a two-run shot in the fifth inning.

Following the tie-breaking blast, Tucker responded to cheers from the crowd with… perhaps a little more ceremony than the occasion required. He was the second of the Pirates’ prospects to record his first major-league hit during the game, as outfielder Bryan Reynolds also hit a single off of Holland in the fourth.

Jung Ho Kang struck out to end the inning, after which a rain delay was called. The Pirates currently lead the Giants 3-1.